When I interview artists, I make bouquets out of dandelion puffs. When my husband comes home, we experiment on them with fire. Totally worth it.
"You Might Be a Photographer If…" by StoryForge Productions!
I’ve gotten quite tired of emotionally uninspiring plot diagrams, so here’s a quick breakdown of high and low concept stories. Hopefully Miyazaki’s storytelling in Howl’s Moving Castle can offer you some freedom from formulae. Read the article ”Storytelling through Character and Concept” here!
The perfect dosage of adorableness for this writer as she fights the remnants of a head cold and tries to punch out a few queries…
Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things that people do.
William Zinsser (via writingquotes)
Only after a writer lets literature shape her can she perhaps shape literature.
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
As you have probably noticed, many of my posts have mentioned StoryForge recently, so maybe it’s time to update you on my career direction!
(I thought that you might want a face to go with the name ;) My husband and I in Michigan last October. The face he is making—that’s from the cold, haha)
Several weeks ago I quit my teaching job. It was a difficult but quick decision; I love the people that I worked with, but I wanted to focus more on my freelancing. I’m still writing interior decor articles (and loving it), and recently I started working with marking proposals, copyediting, and graphic design for another company. While they stretch me to learn new aspects of my trade, StoryForge roots me in the heart of my craft: storytelling.
At the beginning of NaNoWriMo, I joined StoryForge Productions’ team and we launched a new online community, which focuses on “Story-craft for Storytellers.” For a while I wrote two articles per month, but now that has been amped up to an article a week. Since they’re celebrating Miyazaki’s life work through Month-a-Zaki articles and podcasts, I may write two articles a week for a little while—by my volition, of course; I can’t resist the opportunity to talk about Miyazaki!
While transitioning into this new phase of my career, I’ve been able to work on my novel. I am so close to finishing. My fingers are itching to type ‘finis’ at the end of the document, and only a few fears stand in my way. But that’s the psychology of writing for you! A lot of the writing process is defeating fear, humbling yourself under critique, and being stubborn enough to keep going.
Though freelancing seems a bit risky, I feel supported by the StoryForge community and the Freelancer’s Union, which has a fantastic blog that demystifies the business side of writing (like taxes, clients, and contracts! Fantastic, right?!). After I launched myself fully into freelancing, I visited an old professor of mine and told him quite excitedly, “I’m a writer!” But he just asked, “weren’t you a writer before?” He is right—of course—but now I feel that I have stepped through some rite of passage into a new stage of my career.
I am excited to see where I can go with my writing and I’d love to have you alongside me in that journey. Encouraging and challenging communities make the writing life much easier, and I hope to do that for you through this blog and through the Forge. Thanks for reading!
As a creative, what do you find that the online writing community often lacks? What encouragement or instruction would you like to see more of?
Once you meet someone, you never really forget them.
One of the most beautiful films that I’ve ever seen! This week I had the privilege of writing an article for StoryForge about how Miyazaki grows Chihiro’s character. Check the article out, and see the fantastic art that accompanies it!
In Spirited Away, Miyazaki’s young protagonist Chihiro starts as a whiny, passive child, but the story forces her to grow up or give up, creating a bildungsroman of bravery and selflessness.
Miyazaki’s Spirited Away: Growing Organic Characters, from StoryForge Productions